Ribs, for your pleasure...

There came a day when a barbecue place called Famous Dave’s opened near my old job, and life was good. While a smaller place called “Smokey's” closer to my office offered the benefits of walking distance and outdoor seating, it couldn't compare to a place that served every type of meat imaginable on a tray the size and shape of a garbage pan lid. It's probably the closest I'll ever come to feasting like the decadent, ancient Romans, may I be spared a coronary incident.

There came another day on which I lost my job and I was sad, not just for the friends I'd no longer see every day but for all the marvelous places to eat in the vicinity of work. Short overweight Italians have priorities when it comes to food. I quickly found another job in a wonderful area, though lacking the same variety of eateries. I soon found another hole-in-the-wall local rib joint, thanks to a friend who lived in the area. This “Hickory's” might have been small, but the rolls of paper towels on each table echoed those of Dave's, a mark of a true BBQ paradise. Their fries, like their complementary basket of potato chips, were coated with pepper and other herbs and spices. It was not--nay, is not--a place to eat without adequate drink. I have high tolerance for spicy food, but even I've been overconfident in adding more sauce to food already well spiced.

On yet another day, I noticed a sign on a building that read “HarborQ”. It didn't take long to deduce what it would be when it finally opened, and indeed my instincts were right. Offering some of the best wings and wraps in town, their complementary chips were bottomless and crisp, with real potato goodness. But would this be my new favorite place for messy, artery-closing treats?

We were all glad when a BadBob's came to town, with an upscale interior more reminiscent of a Manhattan eater, with a flatscreen television and manmade waterfalls over panes of glass. They offered similar meals, again with the fresh chips, with the added bonus of spicy corn on the cob among the array of sides. Their pulled pork may have been the best dish, although the BBQ chicken was tender and juicy, never a bad morsel in the bunch. Somehow, there was never anybody in there, and on a sad day, we found the doors closed. There was some hope in the form of a sign saying they'd be relocating elsewhere in town, but I'm still waiting for our Taco Bell Express to fulfill a similar promise to reopen one day. Word is, the franchise refused to remodel due to expenses, and the owner will be looking for a new restaurant to fill the gap in our strip mall. A rib place, perhaps?

This Friday was a rough Friday after an already busy week. It was also a gorgeous day, the kind one which one hates to be stuck in an office so close and yet so far from the beach. Solving problems left and right, yet still feeling swamped, I was all too happy to join my friends for lunch. We investigated a rumor that, at the end of a residential street, down by some piers, another BadBob's yet existed. It didn't seem possible, and I was already considering alternate options when the rumor proved to be wrong, but then we saw the sign. Right on the pier, with tables under the shade of umbrellas, sat a BadBob's, with an open counter. Apparently it had always been there, as a seasonal treat from April to October, and moving in to town had been a temporary, and failed experiment. I soon had a platter of BBQ Chicken, spicy curly fries, spicy corn, and an ice cold Corona with a lime sliver. It was paradise, like being on vacation. There was nothing but yachts and the pier and the waves and the sky around us in the open air. It's never been harder to return to work and be productive for another 4 hours, which may account for me being terse and slightly belligerent during one post-lunch phone conversation. In time, I adjusted and focused, and managed to get some stuff taken care of before I was finally ready to call it a week. With two lawns, a parade, and an Italian feast in my weekend, I'd be spending plenty of time outdoors before I had to sit behind my desk once more on Monday.

So, which is the best rib place? Nothing can top BadBob's new location, but the quality of the food at HarborQ still trumps it. I almost wish they'd set up a Summer location on a nearby pier, so I could combine the best of both worlds. Making a definitive assessment of these rib establishments will be a top priority this Summer. Maybe my next project will be determining if there's a correlation between my diet and my inability to get below 170 pounds even when I run 4-7 miles every night of the week.

Naaaaahhh. Pass the BBQ sauce....


Blogger Spockgirl said...

That lunch...I can almost taste it. I would probably go into a coma after eating that in the middle of the day.

6/19/2010 1:30 AM  

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